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Supreme Cmdr

BCM multiplayer. To be or not to be?

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quote:


Originally posted by Bad Mojo:

So, yeah. Just make sure the collision detection in BCM Gold works really, really well.


hehe, it has to or some very strange things will happen.

quote:


Even though it won't really influence your decision, it's nice to be asked.

In fact, the poll feedback will influence my decision - which is why I created it.

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Guest JuanFermin

I sell specialized software that sometimes needs tweaking, additional hardware and, because of unforseen circumstance, ends up costing more than what was originally estimated to the customer. When those circumstances arrive, I sometimes have to go back to my customers and charge them hundreds more for additional hardware, programming or support, and I don't think twice about it. I've had a year's worth of enjoyment of BCM and to pay an extra 29 bucks for MP is more than fair for all the work you've put into this. I say release an unsupported MP for BCM and simply move on, focus your attention on BCG, so we can get the kick ass game that we're all drooling over!

quote:

Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr:

quote:

Originally posted by Serondal:

Other games have promissed Multiplayer and never came through. Other's have come through (like Deus Ex) And the multiplayer sucked! The choice is up to you in the end SC, you know better than us ;P

Another example : CIVIII: Play The World

Anyway, I welcome any/all arguments and I'm not going to make a decision until the poll expires. I would love nothing better than to just go as I originally planned, but I can just see a can of worms brewing in maintaining and supporting three mp kernels in three different games.

*sigh*


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quote:

Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr:

If you're not registered to post on the board, you cannot view the poll results. In which case, the poll and the results are none of your damn business anyway. But nevertheless

89 votes so far (01-08-03 @ 07:30AM EST)

quote:

YES PLEASE, YOU PROMISED!: 18% (16)

NO, I PLAN ON GETTING BCM GOLD: 49% (44)

MAKES NO DIFFERENCE TO ME EITHERWAY: 33% (29)



Here is my 2 cents. 3000ad are all independent developers, a dying breed, I say live long and prosper.

That being said, the only advantage to having multiplayer as a free download for existing BCM players would be to test the lag issues with different types of connections, not an easy thing.

So, a simple deathmatch-type MP in the SOL system would make sense, keeps to your original word, and passifies those wanting MP. Take any Instant Action senerio and use that for MP, we could play it as an FFA or a cooperative effort to destroy any computer foes.

I 'can' wait for BCG, but will MP really work in the BCG release, that is my only concern?

I will buy BCG, that is a fact. The only other game I am interested in is Eve, but I will believe it when I see it. Freelancer is a joke, they have lost me. I do like to play XTension occasionally, so I may spring for X - The Threat. Has anybody heard anything about Elite 4?

There is just so much in BCM that I can do, I will probably never exaust my options in this game.

I just recently started playing BCM in an 800x600 window, that is cool.

As far as the rest of the gaming community out there, e.g. GameSpot, screw em, they were never fans and will never be fans of BC.

There is only 1 thing I would suggest to 3000ad, a strategy guide for beginners. Sell it for $25 and I bet it would sell. Keep it simple, get people playing the game. Don't bother with an in-game tutorial, not worth it. The strat guide could just cover a small part of the BC universe.

I have a tutorial I found somewhere that goes throught the IA senerios, and found it very valuable. Now having that in a strategy guide as a way to introduce a player to the game, that would be nice.

Sincerly,

Al.

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quote:


Originally posted by StarRider:

The only other game I am interested in is Eve, but I will believe it when I see it. Freelancer is a joke, they have lost me. I do like to play XTension occasionally, so I may spring for X - The Threat. Has anybody heard anything about Elite 4?


uhm, try to stay on topic. This is not the thread to be discussing other space sims.

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quote:

Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr:

quote:

Originally posted by StarRider:

The only other game I am interested in is Eve, but I will believe it when I see it. Freelancer is a joke, they have lost me. I do like to play XTension occasionally, so I may spring for X - The Threat. Has anybody heard anything about Elite 4?

uhm, try to stay on topic. This is not the thread to be discussing other space sims.


Sorry about that SC, I tend to ramble sometimes. I mean no disrespect or slight.

Al.

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Would there be any value in using the BCM multiplayer as a test for later and greater BC games? I recall that some multiplayer games are hindered by server problems.

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FWIW, my $0.02.

I don't really care too much about the BCM multiplayer component. I'll be buying BCG, but I don't care too much about multiplayer on that either. No disrespect to those who do, I just don't really care too much about any multiplayer games.

What I do sort of care about is seeing all those low-watts *cough*Shirley*cough* who complained about there not being multiplayer "Where is it? it isn't there! You said back whenever it would be! Waaah!" (not that they really care about BCM) get egg all over their face. SC wouldn't give half a buttock (if that much) for their opinion of BCM multiplayer anyway. But still, it'd be nice ammo for those inclined to smack them around in other forums

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For me personally, I don't miond if you let BCM multiplaayer component drop, as I'm just waiting on BCG multiplayer.

However, my question is, how do you compensate BCM buyers who don't see things in the same light and feel that they were "cheated" into buying BCM, being promised multiplayer. I suppose my only question is how you will deal with that?

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Why bother placating them? Either they're going to buy BCM:G or BCG, in which case they will have multiplayer and have no reason to be complaining, or else they're not going to buy either of those games, in which case it doesn't matter.

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quote:


Originally posted by Fractux:

However, my question is, how do you compensate BCM buyers who don't see things in the same light and feel that they were "cheated" into buying BCM, being promised multiplayer. I suppose my only question is how you will deal with that?


They weren't cheated into buying anything. BCM shipped without multiplayer. Like any other feature that got cut (and some later implemented via patches), it was just another one.

If the $10 rebate that Dreamcatcher has generously offered is not good enough for them and they don't believe that all the FREE updates (apart from bug fixes) that have gone into BCM is not worth $19.99, then thats their problem. Not mine.

The box and the game EULA are quite clear in this regard and I think my first post in this thread is quite clear too. Why then do I find myself repeating this again? My stance is NEVER going to change, no matter how many variations of the question are posed to me.

I didn't release mp into BCM because it wasn't ready nor good enough for what I had planned. Even though BCM internally was designed from the ground up for multiplayer it is a huge game and being my first foray into multiplayer, I didn't like the results. I changed my design and ideas in order to focus on a common solution across my products. This was a design and development decision and I really don't care about what anyone thinks.

And even if I had released a Beta of mp in BCM, that would have just caused more harm than good.

Lets put it this way, even if BCM Gold was not being released, I would still not have considered releasing BCM multiplayer before BCG is released.

And even if I did, it would have been in the BCG demo (which will support multiplayer).

The mp in BCM was tagged as a freebie. I have the right to rescind that offer as long as what is in the box and what you paid for is what I delivered. I am under no obligation to abide by anyone's wishes. I don't see anyone *****ing about all the free features that have gone into BCM since it was released in Nov 2001.

You can't have it both ways. I made a decision and I'm going to stick to it because I know that it was the right decision to make.

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Guest JuanFermin

quote:

The mp in BCM was tagged as a freebie. I have the right to rescind that offer as long as what is in the box and what you paid for is what I delivered. I am under no obligation to abide by anyone's wishes. I don't see anyone *****ing about all the free features that have gone into BCM since it was released in Nov 2001.

You can't have it both ways. I made a decision and I'm going to stick to it because I know that it was the right decision to make. [/QB]

So does this mean you've made up your mind & won't be releasing the MP component for BCM? Either way, I'm sick of you teasing us like a $20.00 hooker, when do we get the goods on BCG!?

I Can't Wait, I Can't Wait, I Can't Wait!!!

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quote:


Originally posted by Zorro67:

So does this mean you've made up your mind & won't be releasing the MP component for BCM?


No, I have not made up my mind. The poll doesn't end until 01/15 and I will make a decision thereafter.

What I meant by I will not change my stance above, is in regard to my decision to not release a free mp component for BCM if in the end I choose to do so

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IceCold is basically echoing what I said earlier.

Some simple deathmatch-type game, very minimal functionality, to test bandwidth issues. I don't know if it is really worth it from a game developer's standpoint, but its a thought.

I remember in 3000ad, there was a instant carnage option where you are set in a fighter to blast away at some AI, that would be ok with me too. Have 2 factions, each with its own battlecruiser in orbit. A player would logon to multiplayer, choose a faction, launch the fighter and go. You could either try and mount a collective organized offensive against the other battlecruiser(faction) in orbit, or go down to the planet surface and battle for control of a starbase. Once you have control of a starbase, all weapons are turned against the enemy faction and a 'base commander' could order the conquered bases offensive units to destroy the enemy battlecruiser. You could also have a BC commander launch missles at the enemy base as a coordinated attack against the enemy base.

I know, i'm rambling...

Anyway, you could make it as simple or more complex(e.g. tribes) as you want. Fighter wings, a base commander, 2 battlecruiser commanders all fighting for control of earth. Man, that sounds good to me. I don't care about the graphics, if that type of gameplay was in multiplayer, wow.

Just some thoughts....

I did notice SC talking about the original BCM design, i.e. designing it from the ground-up for multiplayer. I thought that was interesting. About 2 sentences later SC said he changed the design.

My only question is, did SC change the design, leaving the multiplayer foundation in, or change the design taking out the multiplayer foundation?

One more thing, I have been researching and comparing other games to BCM. I am astounded at how much larger, more vast BCM is. The scale of BCM really does dwarf those games(..i mentioned earlier...). So, to all the players dissappointed by not having MP in the original BCM title(free download), just sit tight. You will be rewarded eventually. I mean, why learn another game, spending all that time, only to come back to BC eventually. Those others don't compare. That is my logic anyhow. I am sticking with BC and that other game I like....please refer to other post above. I know the systems, the races(well not all of BC races), the controls, what to do, etc. My time is growing to be more valuable, so I just don't feel like learning another game of this magnitude.

Keep it up SC, and get those doctor visits, we need you in good health for the next 20 years.

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quote:


Originally posted by StarRider:

I did notice SC talking about the original BCM design, i.e. designing it from the ground-up for multiplayer. I thought that was interesting. About 2 sentences later SC said he changed the design.

My only question is, did SC change the design, leaving the multiplayer foundation in, or change the design taking out the multiplayer foundation?


Designing a game for multiplayer (which is the first thing you have to do, since you cannot simply tag mp on top of a sp game or you're in trouble) is different from implementing mp itself.

e.g. using GameSpy Arcade, GameSpy.Net (for in-game browser) and GameCQ (which is used by battlecruiser.net) are all different interfaces which have nothing to do with the actual mp game itself and the protocol.

So, when you design a game from the ground up for mp, its got nothing to do with top level interfaces.

I made enough serious revisions to my original kernel spec so that I didn't have to do it all again. This is similar to me not having to write my AI kernel from scratch for each subsequent game. The original kernel is there and is just revised and improves as new games in the series are released. No point in re-inventing the wheel. Had I released BCM mp in its original incarnation, I would've had to finish it and then be stuck with two different mp kernels - one used in BCM/BCM Gold and the other (which would be the current design) in BCG.

[ 01-11-2003, 05:57 PM: Message edited by: Supreme Cmdr ]

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Interesting, and makes sense too.

I just read a blurb about GameCQ. It uses a mySQL database on the backend, multi-platform. I should learn mySQL. I just know SQL Server and PL/SQL component of Oracle.

I don't have any games that use GameCQ though, either GameSpy, built-in GameSpy, or built-in custom browser.

I wonder about games based on the Quake III engine. They often install with a sperate muliplayer component, two short-cuts, one for single, one for multi. Why didn't they combine multiplayer with singleplayer.

Could the BCM Multiplayer actually be a seperate component at first, then merging in BCG? You could just make a copy of the kernel, call it multiplayer, make all the changes, ignoring or taking out the single-player code. That way, the original single player kernel wouldn't be touched. Updates that solve problem in multi-play can be applied to the multi-play kernel.

I don't know really, just a thought.

Sorry, got off-topic a little there.

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quote:


Originally posted by StarRider:

I don't have any games that use GameCQ


Thats because I am the only licensee (and only for the backend mySQL stuff). Only Richard's own game, Darkspace, uses it.

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quote:

Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr:

quote:

Originally posted by StarRider:

I don't have any games that use GameCQ

Thats because I am the only licensee (and only for the backend mySQL stuff). Only Richard's own game, Darkspace, uses it.


Too Cool.

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One last thing in this whole MP thing.

I think I paid 20 or 30 bucks for the game, after it was out for maybe 6 months, give or take. I had been playing 3000ad religously, and having fun. I bought that one for $5 at GameStop. I was amazed I could still find it when I bought it. Still got the original box(1998, v 2.0).

If you were a die-hard BC fan, you would of paid the original $50 for BCM, no questions asked. If you are a newbie like me, you wait for the price to come down, then buy it.

If you bought it for the current price of $10 at EB, its basically free, if you later buy BCM Gold and get the $10 rebate. So in the end, for the newcomer that may feel slighted by no MP, you got it cheap anyway, don't complain. Buy BCM Gold, get the rebate, and you are not out anything.

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I know this is late and hardly up-to-date but I feel like spewing my opinionated venom nonetheless.

Derek, you know me, and I assume you know that I'm a stubborn sonofab****, so you probably know most of the background to this story:

After BCM came out I was *pissed* that MP wasn't anywhere visible on the horizon. Livid. Up-in-arms. Whatever you want to call it. But hell, back in that day, opinions were like arseholes and elbows; everyone had 3 of them. Right around then was the time that Derek was considering shutting this place down (for you newbies that are aware of the BCC Forum, that's how it originated).

In any case, us veterans around here had been working on organizing fleets, filling them, and getting them primed for real MP action. We even wrote some kickin' RP stories based upon these fleets.

Well, we had things pretty well in hand when BCM was released. Those individuals privy to the beta tests and, primarily, the mailing lists, were aware that BCM MP wasn't going to be shipping with the release well before the general realization of the fact.

Okay. Fine. We'll wait. No big deal.

Time passed and still no concrete signs of MP. Not exactly earth-shattering but disheartening nonetheless.

Fast forward to now. As you may or may not be aware, I've been overseas for the past several months with my family. No real time for BCM or gaming in general. And besides, one could make a laptop with a 500GHz Pentium 14 and I would still say that a K6-2 400 would make a better gaming rig. Anyway, upon my return one of the things I wanted to do was stop in here and check up on things. I'm thinking that maybe BCM MP is going full-forced, or that us veterans are screwed out of a lot of work.

After a few beers and some quiet, instropective ponderings, I've decided that it's neither. In fact, I'm in support of no MP whatsoever. The following is why:

Okay, so we've created fleets and invested serious work into this. Many fans and gamers have purchased the game. Some have registered here. Fewer still have joined fleets. So what we'd have are several organize fleets, with few members, in different time zones around the world, all with differing schedules, trying to play an organized game together.

Yeah, right.

Now consider that practically every MP game to have been released that emphasizes teamwork turns into an unorganized meshing of individuals fragging each other into oblivion. Considering that most of the dedicated fans that would keep some semblance of order are on quite different schedules, one must deduce that there are not hardly enough people to make BCM worthwhile in MP. Hell, I don't want to see BCM degrade to a simple shooter.

In the end, what we'd have is a few unorganized fleets, or a few people on LAN just shooting at one another until everyone's either dead 40 times or bored. BCM's addictiveness comes from it's depth, not respawn locations and rates.

And besides, considering that most gamers see themselves as superior to the next I had a feeling we'd see a bunch of Gammulan traders / raiders / drug dealers on the servers rather than any semblance of what would make MP actually fun.

The BC series is a single-player game. Yes, it screams for multiplayer. But if what we'd end up having is an MP Wing Commander with lotsa big and cool ships, I really don't want anything to do with it.

So here's my advice to those who REALLY need an MP component to the game, or ANY BC game: MAKE IT WORTHWHILE. ONLY the fans can do that. Get involved in fleets. Get those fleets populated. Get your friends into the BC series. The relatively small amount of time you'll spend contributing here could yield insanely large rewards for your gaming future.

That's it for now, I think...

~Mike

PS: I am aware that there are plans for a new BC MP in the works. But even so, to make *that* game worthwhile with the richness of the game universe, fan participation is KEY.

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quote:

Originally posted by aramike:

in different time zones around the world, all with differing schedules, trying to play an organized game together.


This is the best arguement I have heard for no MP yet.

quote:

Originally posted by aramike:

Now consider that practically every MP game to have been released that emphasizes teamwork turns into an unorganized meshing of individuals fragging each other into oblivion.

Excellent point. Tribes is fun, but the purpose of the game was teamwork. There is no teamwork.

What kind of beer was that? I need to get some. Excellent logical argument, really makes sense to me.

I have 2 gaming buddies up in Oregon. We all got Neverwinter Nights thinking that we could get together online and do some dungeon crawls. We tried a couple of times. The closest we got was Ron and I playing for about 10 minutes. We all had differing schedules, family lives, work, etc.

So, how the heck are we battlecruisers going to get together in fleets for online battle??

That is what I learned from this post.....

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The poll closed yesterday with 101 votes

quote:


YES PLEASE, YOU PROMISED!: 19% (19)

NO, I PLAN ON GETTING BCM GOLD: 47% (47)

MAKES NO DIFFERENCE TO ME EITHERWAY: 35% (35)


I will announce my decision soon. Thanks to all of you who voted on this rather controversial issue.

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aramike - your post is a little suprising I must admit, however you are right on most points.

But then ..

quote:

So here's my advice to those who REALLY need an MP component to the game, or ANY BC game: MAKE IT WORTHWHILE. ONLY the fans can do that. Get involved in fleets. Get those fleets populated. Get your friends into the BC series. The relatively small amount of time you'll spend contributing here could yield insanely large rewards for your gaming future.

You can't get people in if there's no mp, people won't join fleets because they are waiting for mp, without a semblance of release date people will still think it's "nowhere in sight", and people won't stick with the game just with singleplayer, at least not before the GBS2 is released (It's all I'm waiting for to go play again, I haven't seriously played since early september)

I'm DYING to see a game with great teamwork. maybe I'm sticking with the wronmg crowd, but in any online game I play it's just full of l33t d00ds that care about nothing but themselves. I'm not a l33t sk|113d shooter, I'm a tactician, it's very hard to play online with people that have 90% reflexes and 10% brain.

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quote:


Originally posted by Epsilon 5:

and people won't stick with the game just with singleplayer,


wot? You can't be serious. What BC game has ever had multiplayer? And who keeps buying them still?

quote:


at least not before the GBS2 is released (It's all I'm waiting for to go play again, I haven't seriously played since early september)

Well, you've got a long wait because I don't have time to finish the docs. And without the docs, I'm not planning on releasing it to the public. So far, only the devs and testers have it.

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I remember BC3K in the silver box .. Screenshots and the premise of the title got me to beg for it, but like alot of people I came to realize that a black screen with a crash address should have been on one of the screenshots on the box.

Mr. Smart valiantly has fought to win his vision back to improve upon it and continues to do so.. THUS if anyone knows about developing a game, the trails and tribulations included, it would be him.

Games however have changed in how their made, some are developed until they are done and scheduled (as if from a divine source) correctly and if your even MORE lucky you wont ever have to patch the game.

Or youÔÇÖll find games that donÔÇÖt have alot of support that are stressed on a short time table to get done... features get cut and are promised (mafia ect) alot of games that are fun donÔÇÖt have anymore official support.. (Bethesda games like echelon.. ehh.. a plethora of others made in 2001 and well.. previous years).. In any case were lucky to have Mr. Smart care enough to continue to Patch and try and Balance things for a game that was made over a year ago..

BCM was something I wanted despite the promises on the box.. I mean you sacrifice what you can you weigh the needs of your customers (fans or not) above the form of the game. Besides its for BC fans anyway and those who ÔÇ£thinkÔÇØ they like this kind of game will get it.

At first? I was P/O'ed about the MP not being implemented.. but I can tell you this.. If it really really REALLY bothered me.. I wouldnÔÇÖt have bought it.. I mean.. 50 bucks isnt cheap for me. So I deliberated enough and got it.

I would have waited until MP was out to buy BCM if I thought so little of the series.

No you donÔÇÖt have to worry about the glimmer of MP for BCM being snuffed out ticking me off.. I donÔÇÖt care anymore. But as far as the next title? ItÔÇÖll looks nice.

but no matter how many times you dress up meatloaf.. its still ground cow baked in an oven MP or not...

ThereÔÇÖs only so much you can improve on the aesthetics on a game like BC3k so the depth (which im sure wont be a problem) to be greater is the MEAT of BC.. the depth and the ability to use your imagination and be compelled to use it when playing.. ThereÔÇÖs no huge linear story to hamper your own space commander fantasies...(Although a well written and executed plot makes many games fun in of itself.. TIE FIGHTER comes to mind.)

Its up to those who play it to make MP worth while. Its not the device, its the user.

Kind of like gun control..

The only issue with potential new customers and that if your going to promise to add it later.. I donÔÇÖt think you should make the promise on the box in the first place.... there are a few die hards, I know that.. well are still ticked off about bcm not having MP.. but I know theyÔÇÖll get BC3K with or without mp..Because if you love it enough youll get over it.. I did.

With that in mind however, the luck of the draw on whether features make it into games isnÔÇÖt new.. if I recall Tribes 2 was supposed to have real world damage initially.. (alla red faction) as well as some other vehicles that never made it.. I got tribes 2 without reading up on it.. (shame on me) but I still like it alot.. Dai katana? Took FOREVER and well.. when it was released it blew anyway..

I play MP games with a group of friends... IÔÇÖm lucky I have a group.. not many people find these mp games friendly to the casual gamer unless they are really good or.. have a "clan" not just of hyped up 12 year olds but somewhat mature.. players.. that recognize its JUST A GAME..

And to get bent out of shape about A GAME.. either playing it. its features.. promised or otherwise.. well.. its rather stupid..

I suppose its totally up Supreme Commander... 100%.. Hes working on it HE labors for our pleasure its our choice to buy it not his Yet as a personal word to Mr. Smart 

IF a painter paints His or her El Dorado and finds that its not quite right, do you paint over the old picture? Or start on a new canvas?

All of the games have been Masterpieces... I donÔÇÖt doubt the next one will be.

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well whatever SC's decision i'm sure it will obviously be good for everyone(but you never know).

Derek Smart is an example of what all game designers should be: dedicated, loyal to his fanbase, and actually talks to his fans(i've been on other boards for games but i only see the game designer making an important announcement like a patch).

i agree with the people who say it is the people who make the MP worthwhile.

well that's my cheap 2 cents. if i wrote something stupid oh well.

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